Evaluation of suicide prevention activities

9.4 Summary of key findings

Page last updated: January 2014

  • Relationships within the community, between service providers and with other stakeholders such as police or ambulance services, as well as positive relationships among workers in a productive team, were key enablers for projects.
  • Some projects reported that funding limitations and uncertainties:
    • Made it difficult to deliver the number range, intensity or geographical coverage of services needed
    • Restricted expansion and/or development of project activities
    • Restricted their ability to ensure optimal employee supervision and staff recruitment
  • Staff recruitment and retention difficulties, which were seen to be largely a function of the short-term NSPP funding, were commonly cited as a barrier to effective program implementation.
  • The key relationship barriers identified were:
    • Time required for relationship building
    • Difficulties engaging external stakeholders
    • Lack of clarity around roles and referrals between service providers
  • Projects experienced difficulties in engaging with target groups due to:
    • Poor attendance at events
    • Social stigma relating to suicide which resulted in a reluctance to talk about suicide or seek help
    • Competing priorities within settings such as schools and workplaces
  • A range of additional challenges exist for projects targeting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations, which can increase the time and resources required to establish initiatives.
  • Projects reported that:
    • Some project-specific design issues had impacted effectiveness
    • Suboptimal data collection and evaluation limited their ability to measure effectiveness.
    • Other suggestions by project staff for improving project effectiveness were:
      • Larger funding amounts and longer funding periods
      • Improving collaboration with, and coordination between, projects
      • Providing support for organisations to improve capabilities in project development and evaluation